OIC, GCC and MWL backed Saudi decision to expel Canadian envoy form Kingdom

Islamabad: In an extraordinary move Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has expelled Canada’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia Mr. Dennis Horak and announced to freeze new trade and investment with Canada in a response to demand made by Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland to release detained human rights activists. The kingdom issued a 24-hour expulsion notice against ambassador Dennis Horak on Monday, who is also the Canadian representative to Yemen, Bahrain and Oman, and recalled its own envoy to Ottawa, according to the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement.

Throughout long history of Kingdom, the Saudi Arabia has never accepted any interference in its domestic affairs by, or orders from any other country, foreign ministry statment warned. 

The decision of the Saudi Kingdom strongly backed by major Arab World Institution,  Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Muslim World League (MWL). The Move came after the Canadian Department of Global Affairs pressed for Saudi thorities to “immediately release” the two activists, with Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland saying she was “very alarmed” by their detention in a post on Twitter.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir through his official Twitter account in Arabic language  criticized Canada’s calls to free arrested civil society activists as a position built on “misleading” information, and said his country would not tolerate any interference in its own affairs.

“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not interfere in the internal affairs of other states and it won’t accept any attempt to interfere in our internal affairs,” Jubeir said in remarks on his Twitter account. “We deal with that with all firmness.” Describing Canada’s position was puzzling, he said that those held in Saudi Arabia were “subject to Saudi legal laws that guarantees their rights” reported by Reuters.

The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs also condemned Canada’s calls for the release of detained activists as “blatant interference in the Kingdom’s domestic affairs.” “The Kingdom views the Canadian position as an affront to the Kingdom that requires a sharp response to prevent any party from attempting to meddle with Saudi sovereignty,” the statement said.

Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), asserted that Saudi Arabia is a sovereign kingdom that enjoys great respect on the regional and international levels. Moreover, its judiciary enjoys full independence and has internal laws that guarantee, regulate and observe civil society activities, he added.

OIC Secretary General,  Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen said these statements are a clear violation of the principles of the UN Charter and also detrimental to the relations between Saudi Arabia and Canada, The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), meanwhile, voiced full understanding of the Kingdom’s position calling for non-interference in its internal affairs, citing international charters that bar such meddling.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani expressed on Monday his support for Saudi Arabia’s measures against Canada’s Foreign Ministry and the Canadian Embassy in Riyadh, reported the Saudi Press Agency. Al-Zayani stressed his condemnation and rejection of the Canadian action, which held false claims, describing Canadian statements as unacceptable interference in Saudi internal affairs.

“These statements are a clear violation of the principles of the UN Charter and also detrimental to the relations between Saudi Arabia and Canada,” he added.

The Muslim World League has condemned the Canadian government’s blatant interference in Saudi Arabia’s internal affairs in a statement released Monday. The statement said the sovereignty of states needed to be respected and that international conventions, principles and norms had to be observed, adding that other countries should not interfered in other countries.

The statement added that the Kingdom was governed by its constitution, regulations and legal processes which were widely known, much like the legal systems of other countries. It stressed Saudi Arabia’s right to take a firm stand towards the “outrageous and unprecedented diplomatic failure,” of Canada. Saudi Arabia, the statement added, was characterized by the enforcement of Islamic law, and that it was wrong for people to compromise this.

The UAE has voiced its support for Saudi Arabia and its “absolute rejection” of any interference in its domestic affairs in the wake of a diplomatic spat with Canada that has seen its ambassador declared persona non grata in the kingdom. The Saudi position was echoed by the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, which said in a statement that the UAE “stands in solidarity with Riyadh in the confrontation of any foreign interference that may undermine its sovereignty.”

Riyadh has decided to freeze all new trade and investment deals between the Kingdom and Canada while retaining its right to take other measures, Bilateral trade between Canada and Saudi Arabia surpassed $4 billion last year, in part due to a controversial 2014 arms deal worth $15 billion over several years.

It is reminded that Saudi rights activists Samar Badawi, the sister of the jailed blogger Raif Badawi, and Nassima al-Sadah were detained last Wednesday, the latest targets of an “unprecedented government crackdown” that has seen more than a dozen activists arrested since May, according to Human Rights Watch.

About Arif Qureshi

Check Also

Ambassador MATSUDA extends condolence to Punjab on the bomb blast in Lahore.

Islamabad: H.E. Mr. MATSUDA Kuninori, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan on Thursday expressed grief and sorrow …